Iran has admitted that it shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane on January 8 killing 176 onboard. (Photo Credit: IANS)
Iran has arrested the person who videographed and posted online the clip of a missile striking a Ukrainian airliner last week. Without proving much details about the arrest, the semi-official Fars news agency reported that the investigation will be presented to the public. Earlier, Iran admitted that it shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane on January 8 killing 176 onboard.
Video shows a frightening boom, like loud thunder. Someone off-camera says in Farsi, "The plane has caught fire. Shahriar. Ferdosieh. In the name of God the compassionate, the merciful. God please help us. Call the fire department!" The names are two suburbs of Tehran near the airport.
‘Regretting’ the crash, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had offered ‘condolences’ to the families of the victims. “Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane & death of 176 innocent people. Investigations continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake. #PS752 (sic),” Rouhani said on Twitter.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake. My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences,” he said in another tweet.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif termed the development as ‘sad day’. Using a heartbreak emoji, Zarif tweeted, “A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces: Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations.”
Iran had denied for several days that a missile caused the crash. But then the US and Canada, citing intelligence, said they believed Iran shot down the aircraft with a surface-to-air missile, a conclusion supported by videos of the incident. The plane, en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, at least 57 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians, according to officials. The Canadian government had earlier lower the nation's death toll from 63.
Meanwhile, Canadian investigators are flying to Tehran to access the wreckage and black boxes from a Ukranian jetliner. We don’t fully know what the scope of our investigation will be,” Transportation Safety Board (TSB) chair Kathy Fox told a press conference. However, she added, “there have been early signs that Iran is allowing the TSB to play a more active role than is normally permitted.”
“We do know what has happened. What we don’t know is why it happened,” Fox commented before listing off questions surrounding the crash that still need to be answered.